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From the Egyptian Revolution to Saint-Etienne

Saint Etienne is a small city in France, 45 minutes away from Lyon and nicknamed City of Design

Hello everyone,

I'm Mohamed, 23 years old from Egypt, and this is my journey in France.

The reason I came to France was to have a better education and secure a better life, Egypt was and still is going through a tough time and being there didn't seem to be the best option for my future goals.

I entered France in August 2014, new culture, new adventure, I felt both scared and excited and the same time, but mostly scared at the time.

I first arrived to Lyon, and then I took a train to Saint Etienne, costs around 9 euros and it takes around 45 minutes

Then I took a taxi to the nearest hotel and spent couple nights there till I found a more permanent place.

Finding a place wasn't easy, I needed one quickly before the hotel takes all my money, I wandered in the streets looking at signs and agencies, I soon found a good apartment at an agency called Century 21, it took me around 3 days.

It was a studio, around 20 metres and it coated me 250 euros, the CAF also helped me with 150 euros monthly so I ended up only paying 100 euros each mfun or for h, did I mention that the renting prices here are crazy low ? Especially if you compare them to big cities like Lyon or Paris.

If you're coming to Saint Etienne, or France in general, be ready for one thing, paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork!

Alright, now after finalizing my current legal situation as a student, time for college.

Jean Monnet University was the name, I must admit it was tough, my first day was lonely, the whole first semester was hell, social wise and grades wise, mostly because of my language, it wasn't that good at the time and because I'm usually an isolated person (Introverts Unite!), but after that things started to get better.

My language improved, my social skills improved and as a result I made friends and my grades got better, I had made it through the most stressful part.

I spent 3 years at the university and got my license in Computer Science.

During the last semester I started getting engaged with different companies and got an internship with a web development company called Webqam, and started gaining my first professional experience as a Web Developer

Then I got a call from a tech start-up called The Sports Center telling me they were looking for a junior web developer to help them with their new project, so, alongside college, I started helping them after my internship ended for free, they respected that and offered me a paid internship that led to a full time job with them.

The nightlife here is good, a lot of bars, nightclubs and restaurants, but it's much better in Lyon, higher quality and more options, almost everybody goes there sometimes to have fun 

In general my experience was great, it was scary at first, depressing during the first semester then perfect for the rest of the time.

Saint Etienne is good for starting a professional career or living as a student, it's cheap and not too far from the big cities which is perfect, I recommend coming here if that's your situation.

Aller les verts!

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